Echelons wreak havoc at Vuelta a España
Elia Viviani sprints to third in San Javier. Mar Menor, notching up his 25th podium of the season.
Crosswinds and crashes spiced up the final 30 kilometers of Vuelta a España stage six, taking several riders out of contention for the victory, while others got caught off guard and saw their GC ambitions being dealt a big blow at the end of the 155.7km-long day, after losing nearly two minutes. Despite things becoming hectic, Quick-Step Floors were well-represented at the front of the red jersey group, which was shedding riders out the back as the tempo was going up with every kilometer covered.
Neo-pro Kasper Asgreen continued to do an amazing job, after initially setting a steady pace behind the original three-man breakaway that got away early in the stage, ramping up the tempo, increasing the gap over the chasers and paving the way for the Quick-Step Floors sprint train. Unfortunately, when it came down to crunch time, with 900 meters to go, Michael Mørkøv and Elia Viviani got closed a bit and then had to make up ground as at the front the sprint was being launched.
Despite coming from way behind, Viviani expertly cut his way through the field at a crazy speed and put in a storming sprint with the line in sight – which unfortunately came too early for the Italian – finishing on the podium behind Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) and Danny Van Poppel (LottoNL-Jumbo), a result that got him closer to the lead of the points classification. In the overall, Enric Mas returned in the top 10 and remained the best young rider of the race, which is just days away from the second mountain summit of this edition.
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